Steve McClaren change of heart and Newcastle don’t appeal Mitrovic red card
Aleksandar Mitrovic will definitely miss the matches against West Ham, Watford and Sheffield Wednesday.
Newcastle United have not challenged the red card against Arsenal and so the Serbian striker will miss three United matches with immediate effect.
The lack of an appeal represents a 180 degrees turn by Steve McClaren. In the aftermath of the Arsenal game, the Newcastle boss said that he hoped Newcastle could appeal because they definitely would, though he ruefully accepted ‘we will probably lose it’.
There was of course nothing to stop McClaren and the club appealing against the red card, just as West Ham have (successfully) done with Mark Noble’s against Liverpool (which means he can face Newcastle a week on Monday).
However, it appears that reality has hit home because if there had been an appeal on the Mitrovic appeal then it would definitely have lost, with Steve McClaren knowing that it could have very likely led to an extra match being added to the three game suspension, as punishment for making a spurious appeal.
Aleksandar Mitrovic will now have a month between Newcastle matches to have a rethink as to how he approaches the games, with the conundrum being as to how he uses his imposing physicality without stacking up many more cards.
To compound the problem, Mitrovic becomes available in time for the matches against both Chelsea and Manchester City. Two teams that will potentially frustrate the big striker even more than Arsenal did, two sides that are expert at both keeping the ball AND going to ground at the slightest of opportunities.
Steve McClaren speaking straight after the red card v Arsenal:
“I have seen it (Mitrovic red card) over and over, the ball comes over his head, his eyes are on the ball and he has stamped on his foot, he wasn’t look at the man and there wasn’t any intent.
“I definitely don’t think it was dangerous. It was clumsy but I have seen plenty of clumsy challenges, it is a contact sport.”
Match of The Day
“I know him well and there is no intent in anything he does – he just wants to win the ball, he is a winner.
“He has only played a couple of games. Maybe referees are too busy watching Match of the Day instead of assessing their own game, that can be a problem.”
“I hope we can appeal because we will, we will probably lose it. You can gauge a lot from the players and even the Arsenal players looked surprised, they weren’t appealing.
“I wouldn’t say it was a dirty game and we haven’t kicked them off the park, there were fouls and the referee has reacted too harshly with all of them – he was rash.”
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